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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help: 2001 MDX about to die. Need it for another 6 months

  • Model: 2001 MDX
  • Miles: 85,000
  • Relatively trouble free

Few months back, the check engine lights came on. My trusty mechanic wanted $400 to inspect and fix the problem is simple or if the transmission has to be replaced, then the charges will be high. Since I was driving the MDX for only 10 miles a day, I postponed fixing it. Now I am having the following issues:

  1. My smog is due in 10 days but no station wants to run the smog test with check engine light on. If I cannot do the smog, I cannot drive the van since the registration expires at the end of the month
  2. Today the D5 light is flashing and looks ominous. Am I looking at a high repair bill? Not sure where to take my vehicle. Do not want to take it to any dealer. I live in SF bay area (San Jose)
  3. I have the means to lease/buy another car but I need some time. What will I do with the MDX? Without fixing it, I cannot sell it. Only option is to donate. Then I have to rent a car until I find a new car
  4. I still believe I can use my van for few months if check engine light is taken care of

Do you think I can revive my MDX? Or should I give up?

Thanks
 

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Have you check the code in the ECU? if it is the infamous P0740 say goodbye to the transmission but could be other stuff as well..

What are the symptoms? any slippage? does it drive at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you check the code in the ECU? if it is the infamous P0740 say goodbye to the transmission but could be other stuff as well..
What are the symptoms? any slippage? does it drive at all?
Thanks for your reply.

The code is: P0730 - Problem in shift control system

There is slippage I am sure can feel it. I have been driving it for many months after the check engine light came on. Today with D5 flashing, pick up is slow. I feel it is going to stall anytime, so not driving on freeway/expressway.
 

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That P0730 could mean there are some dirty solenoids, I would not give up on her until I saw a definitive P0740... How is the ATF condition looking? is it dark? are there any debris on it when you check the level?
 

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I'd do a few drain-and-refills on the transmission to start with, a day or week apart. I'd add some LubeGard Platinum (8 ounces) on the third D-n-R. Our transmissions are very finicky about the condition of the fluid, and there are a lot of additives that "wear out", and accumulated material in the fluid can cause all sorts of problems. And like skirmich suggests, make sure the fluid is at the right level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You could always try to clear the codes and see if they come right back. I am not sure, but maybe they will pass you if it isn't emissions related. Just a thought.
I can clear the check engine light and go for a smog. My mechanic says I'll be in trouble if the smog test exposes the problem. If it does I cannot spend more than a certain amount for repairs. Not sure about it. I have to check with the DMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That P0730 could mean there are some dirty solenoids, I would not give up on her until I saw a definitive P0740... How is the ATF condition looking? is it dark? are there any debris on it when you check the level?
ATF has been checked every few months. My mechanic says no issues with ATF.

P0730 and P0740 codes showing. P0730 says fix other codes before fixing P0730. P0740 also says the same thing.

Mechanic suggests replacing the transmission with an used or rebuilt one. Cost including labor is $4000 for rebuilt, $3000 for used.

I am not sure if I want to spend that much. If I can get the vehicle smogged, I can drive it in D4 until my new car arrives in Jan/Feb 2018. But can't do a smog with check engine lights.

If I spend $3000 - $4000, I can sell the van for the same amount but I can drive it for few more months.

In 4 days, the registration expires. I waited too long it looks like :frown2:
 

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What is the history of ATF changes on the vehicle? The level could be fine, but if the fluid isn't clean, or simply has too many miles on it, it can cause problems. With nearly ANY transmission problem, the smart thing to do is to change the fluid - there are a host of fiddly little bits inside the transmission that can stop working properly with just a little bit of debris or metallic particles in them, particularly the shift solenoids (since they are essentially electromagnets bathed in the fluid - they attract metallic particles until they get clogged up and stop working). And as I mentioned, add 8 ounces of LubeGard Platinum - I've had really good luck with transmissions with what appeared to be serious problems doing that. Might not help, but it's cheap enough that it's worth a shot. There's still time to do this.

Or you can just trust that your mechanic really doesn't have any self-interest in charging you $3000 for a used transmission I can buy for $500 all day long, or essentially he's making $2500 for installing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Or you can just trust that your mechanic really doesn't have any self-interest in charging you $3000 for a used transmission I can buy for $500 all day long, or essentially he's making $2500 for installing it.
ATF was changed every 6 months since it was bought. I have only 90,000 miles on it in the last 16 years. I can drive it for another 3 months if not for the check engine light that prevents me from getting it smogged.

If you could tell me how to find a $500 used tranny, I'll buy and have it installed by the mechanic for $1000.

I want to try the solenoid replacement first, but no idea where to find them used. And the mechanic charges $60/solenoid to install. So I have to spend around $500 just to see if solenoids are the issue. Plus not sure if replacing the solenoid will take care of P0370 check engine issue.
v
 

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ATF has been checked every few months. My mechanic says no issues with ATF.

P0730 and P0740 codes showing. P0730 says fix other codes before fixing P0730. P0740 also says the same thing.

Mechanic suggests replacing the transmission with an used or rebuilt one. Cost including labor is $4000 for rebuilt, $3000 for used.

I am not sure if I want to spend that much. If I can get the vehicle smogged, I can drive it in D4 until my new car arrives in Jan/Feb 2018. But can't do a smog with check engine lights.

If I spend $3000 - $4000, I can sell the van for the same amount but I can drive it for few more months.

In 4 days, the registration expires. I waited too long it looks like :frown2:


Yeah that P0740 is a sure sign is death....

3000 bucks for a Used Transmission? That is a rip-off
Look at this: 2001-2002 Acura MDX BGHA MGHA Transmission w/ 1 YEAR WARRANTY BEST PRICE ONLINE | eBay
 

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Here's the result of a (very) quick search... Granted, none are $500 but I've seen them going for that kind of money. There might be something worth considering below...

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=mdx+-3.7*+-07*&_sop=15&_osacat=171115&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=mdx+-3.7*+-07*+2001&_sacat=171115

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/ptd/d/jdmacura-mdx-awd-4wd/6307231642.html

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/pts/d/acura-mdx-transmission/6248125089.html

There are probably some less expensive options out there from private parties parting out cars - or from less "online" junkyards, but of course, there's always the chance that the transmission could have a problem (after all, it would be from an 01-2 MDX).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
skirmich and habbyguy: Thanks for your response.

The lowest used transmission my mechanic could find is for $1400. Labor is $1300. The estimate is $2700.

But I want to give the solenoids a try because I feel the transmission may not be the issue since I have driven with check engine lights on for two years :wink: hoping to find someone to replace the solenoids for cheap. Now the van is due for a smog, I am looking to find a solution fast. Yesterday, my mechanic changed ATF and the ride is much better. I see few issues when accelerating but not when cruising.

Can someone suggest me how to find used transmission solenoids and replace it? My mechanic will charge $250 to replace the solenoids. Is it worth trying it out? I can go with solenoids if the overall cost is $300. Is it better to take it to the local Acura dealer? I need to take care of the SRS light anyway.

Thanks for your help.

My previous threads:
http://www.mdxers.org/forums/73-fir...7-2001-mdx-my-issue-related-transmission.html
http://www.mdxers.org/forums/73-fir...-transmission-shift-solenoid-please-help.html
 

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If a tranny fluid change improved the shifting, I'd seriously recommend adding 8 ounces of Lubegard Platinum. My son's car's tranny wasn't doing ANYTHING right, and it fixed it right up. Same with a buddy's Odyssey (older vehicle, but not very different from our trannies).

Most solenoids aren't all that difficult to change on a Honda - they're out in the open. But I've never done them (like to keep it that way). You might also do another tranny fluid change (before adding any additives, of course) - if one change made a difference, it's quite possible that another will as well. Thing is, there are quite a few shift solenoids on the MDX, so you will want to make sure that you're not just shotgunning parts for the sake of changing something. Here are the charts for error code vs. the likely suspect that might help...


 
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